By Jeans Goes POP!
Paul Jeans, a Northumberland one-man band, has provided for our delectation this self released album and it does pretty much what it says on the tin.
I've not had the pleasure live but apparently he plays piano and guitar (not at the same time, presumably, he's not that good) whilst using his feet to play drums. And there may lie the strengths and weaknesses of this CD. It's very piano led, but as it's, by necessity, used in a percussive style it verges on the mid-paced 'jaunty' a little to often, a fair comparison would be 'Badly Drawn Boy' a slightly less complimentary one would be a CD full of Wings album filler, the kind of thing McCartney would knock off whilst helping Linda with the veggie sausages. This does mean, though, that Jeans has a good ear for a tune, opener 'The World at your feet' in particular has a great chorus melody.
I did find the recording and production itself frustrating, I would guess that finances were limited, but every song has the same snare sound, the vocals treatment doesn't vary and it wouldn't have killed him to play a synth instead of a piano to bring in a little texture and variation. Being a one-man band is commendable but you don't have to extend that to the recording process, exercising a little imagination here would have made this so much more interesting.
Pop then, but although pop is, by definition, simple and straightforward, that doesn't mean it's that easy to do well.